Helping Teens Look Outside of Themselves

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Helping Teens Look Outside of Themselves with these service ideas

Helping Teens Look Outside of Themselves

My friend Rachelle is a very intentional parent, right in the thick of things with a handful of teens and tweens. Her oldest is about to graduate high school (just like mine) and I was eating up all of the amazing ideas she shared about being service minded and teaching her teens to look outside of themselves.

I interviewed Rachelle for the Beyond Good Intentions parenting podcast, and she shared some great ideas to help teens look outside of themselves with service.

Find the ideas Rachelle shares on Instagram or drop her a note of gratitude at @KnowingLivingLoving

Books Rachelle Recommended:

See our family favorites on our AMAZON store.

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LISTEN to the episode here:

If you prefer to read over listening, here is the transcript for my chat with Rachelle. I thought this was a great idea, but it turns out, an hour transcript typed is a LOT OF TEXT AND TAKES FOREVER!!!

How I met Rachelle Price

Kristen:  I’ll always remember you as the person who introduced me officially to the chocolate covered cinnamon bears. I think I’d heard of people and I was like, oh, that’s just sounds gross to me. And I think until you just kind of put it in my hand and placed it in front of me and said, you have to try this. And I was like, I guess, fine. Yeah, they’re so good. I mean, I haven’t ever seen them in Texas, are they in California?

Rachelle: So they’re in the grocery store, even in Walmart, in the grocery store in California, but they’re just not as good. I don’t know why. Oh, okay. Is it the same brand even that, you know, I don’t think so. I don’t think. Okay. The BYU bookstore sells them and I don’t know if they make them, if they’re another brand, but that’s where we were.

K: We’d met at a women’s conference that was at BYU last year, and that’s the first time I’d ever gone. But you said you’d gone often, right?

R: Yeah, I’ve gone for like the last five years. I love it. And it’s a great conference to go to.

K: I do enjoy it and I just, you know, I, I have my own little mom getaways and I have to just kind of decide, prioritize. But I met up with my college roommates last year for the first time in a long, long time. It was fun running into you and chatting and corresponding the last year also. And I’ve loved just following along on your adventure and you and I are in the same phase of life almost.

R: Exactly. And so I feel like kindred spirits. I think that that’s how I initially found you and started following is because our kids almost line up. I mean we had to be pregnant together several times, didn’t we. Of course our kids are the same ages, which is really fun.

K: Yes, it is really fun. And I am anxious to talk about parenting teens in a few minutes. You know, I always like to talk about how you grew up first and all that good stuff. So, but yeah, I love talking with other fellow moms of teens. And your daughter, your oldest is graduating high school as well, right?

R: Yes, very soon. I’m still keeping it saying two months even though we’re down to like seven weeks. Right. But in my head sounds longer and then she’s going to college after that, so for the summer, so I’m really losing her pretty much right away. Oh goodness. You know, I’m, I’m anxious to pick your brain a little bit about that, but yeah.

Growing up in a Small Town

K: First tell me, I don’t, I don’t even know if we’ve discussed this or not, where you grew up. We probably have, and I forgot.

R: I grew up in southern Idaho in a really small town. Um, 6,000 people.

K: What’s the town called?

R: It’s called Jerome. So really simple. Rural Life. It was, I loved it. I loved it. I feel so grateful for where I grew up and how I grew up.

K: What did your dad do then? Like was he from that town or did he moved to that town?

R: My Dad was born on main street and he, yeah. And uh, he was a mailman for 40 years. He now he’s retired and he works at my grandpa’s ranch. And so he was, he was the mail man during the day and then he’d go to the ranch at night and my mom was a school teacher, not a letter carrier.

K: Did you run into him around town?

R: It was such a small town. He delivered for half the town, you know, from like main street over main street through 16. He’d walk in, I need to have the jeep and the jeep had the steering wheel on the wrong side door that was open. And so we’d hear him come up and we’d always want him to take us for a ride. But it was totally, he’d take us for a little tiny rides, you know.

K: Did the jeep live at the post office or did it stay about the post office?

R: He would come home for lunch or we’d go and find him, you know, fascinated about the mail system.

K: I would honestly love a tour of the post office someday because this sounds so fascinating. How do they do that and get it delivered so quickly?

R: Yeah, it is pretty amazing. Their system, it’s pretty fantastic. So he grew up with his father ranching then and kind of want to back to this town.

K: So where’s your mom from that town?

R: Nope. My Mom’s, uh, was in the air force and so she traveled around and moved, you know, during her childhood, but they ended up going back to Jerome and they’re still there. And I think my, my dad will always, you know, they’ll both always be there, but my dad will probably always be out on the ranch as long as he can be.

K: So you probably grew up going there as well with your grandparents nearby.

R: Yeah, it, we lived in town, but we had horses and we were just right on the edge of town. And so my California friends would never expect it from me because I’m for sure a city girl. But I, you know, I had the four H year, I had the belt buckle, I had, I had the boots and I did that in the summers, but I was a cheerleader, you know, in high school and both then, or I guess is acquainted with the city. Yeah. I would have loved for me to be, you know, Rodeo and do those kinds of fun things. But I did have a little of them child.

K: Were you, and how many siblings?

R: I’m the oldest of five. Okay. Oldest of five.

K: So just the, your younger siblings get more into the Rodeo or anything else?

R: Not really. And nobody even stayed in Idaho and my siblings are in Texas and California and Utah and yeah, everybody did sports and those kinds of things, um, branched out. So yeah, no, nobody went back to Idaho. Nobody went back to agriculture or farming. Interesting.

K: So did you grow up with, not just your grandparents, but did you have aunts and uncles also in town?

R: My Dad had a twin and his twin brother lived in town.

K: I’m always fascinated to kind of study families and see, you know, what is it that takes people back to their hometown? And I don’t know that I’ve up with an answer. I’m trying to figure out how to get into the same time with my kids. Really. There are these families that live here too, and their kids all move back. I’m thinking, okay, what do you guys do? How do we do merit kids?

R:  I think because my kids aren’t growing up with having them close, then it’s not really ingrained in them to. I don’t have that for their kids too. So yeah. And that’s okay. And that’s what we’re, that’s how we’re raising them. So I’m going to assume that will not be in the same town and then I’ll be pleasantly surprised if it does. Yeah. Happening. Cause I hope to be a day’s drive, right? Like you get to your grandkids if you want it to. That’s how we are with our parents. And I do like that. It’s nice to not have to jump on an airplane every time you want to go.

Family Will Always Be There

Yeah. My parents were really great about, they really impressed upon us that friends would come and go and that our siblings would always be there. That was something that my grandparents had passed down to my dad’s family. And um, that was always said to us and always reminded. I think it’s why I’m close with my siblings now. Um, but my, we also always talked about work hard and play hard in that order. And so we had, you know, lots of responsibilities and my brothers have responsibilities on the ranch. My sister and I didn’t it, but, um, it was just a great, great time of life and feel really grateful and blessed that I can imagine. My husband’s always said, man, if we could have our kids on a farm or ranch or something, teach them. Some were good and hard work. So yeah, but you don’t have your kids in that.

How to Teach Kids Hard Work

So how have you tried to implement hard work into them in different ways? Yeah, it is a little bit tricky, you know. Um, we do, we definitely have zones in jobs at our house. So I love Merrily, boy JAKKS book, parenting breakthrough. And I kind of read it when my kids were younger and went to her same route with my kids got allowance when they turned eight and it was $8 a month and they had to put, they had to pay their tithing and then 10% and then 40% into savings and then they could spend the rest. And it really was, it wasn’t tied to any jobs. So this is gonna sound like it’s not about work, but I promise it did. Um, it has so far worked out for us that they, um, it was really to be in our family, you have to do the following themes.

Right. And this was totally separate than allowance. And so they, it was really just to teach them how to manage their money. And so they just had their little $4 a month and they had to, you know, save up. My, my youngest is 10 and he lasts meant wanted a new Rubik’s cube and you know, it took him a couple of months and he saved up for it. But, um, that was something I started when they were young, which has been great. And then when they turned 12 that stopped and they have started babysitting and mowing lawns and doing those kinds of things. But, um, we enjoy working together as a family. I don’t know if my kids would say enjoy yet. Right. They will definitely look back and say that they will work. They will look back. Yes. Because those are times that are really important and there is always that sense of accomplishment that kits get when we work together as a project. And I’m someone that like, Oh man, I, if you give me something and say, okay, go, go for it. Here’s your project by yourself versus, Hey, you and I are going to work on this. Oh, I’m like a million times more productive and motivated and have so much more fun. So I do try to involve them. Yes. Together. Yeah. Oh Gosh. Gone through the gamut of different job systems and charts and all of this stuff. And then my husband’s like,

I would just your basketball, like we can all just attack one room at a time and then it is so ideal when we can do that. I think we are more productive, but I feel like Hud, so it’s challenging when we’re not always all here to the top like yeah, Wunderman time. It happens on Saturday. So the rest of it, he just looks like a hot mess. And then we do tech. Yeah.

Well I don’t know if you’ve done this. We do do zones that work for us. We’re really, well, we change every Monday. It’s all in an excel spreadsheet and it just regenerates. And I printed out for a couple minutes at the time. And so every kid has an assignment that they hit in the morning and at night. And so we have the kitchen and the sweeping and the living area, which they helped with the laundry and the outside in the garage and the bathrooms. So five kids, five different areas that works for us.

Yeah, that is nice. We were just talking about, we ha we have a similar zone thing all we’ve done it by month and so we’re only, we’re like, just because it was too hard to like figure out like rotating and the, who was the last time I can all this stuff. Um, anyway, so we have done it by month, but recently we’re like, well what am I gonna do in Tyler leaves? Because totally there’s just going to be three kids and it’s more of a workload. The extra. Yeah. So I’m like, we’re going to have to reassess the whole situation anyway. And I thought, man, what if we tried to go to weekly and they’ve, they’ve liked the monthly thing, so that’s good. Kind of like, AH,

change. I don’t know what my kids memorize that weekly. And I have to look. I’m like, okay, even this morning, it’s Monday morning. Okay. Who’s got, you know you mentioned this morning and then, but they haven’t memorized. They know if they were bathrooms last week, their kitchen this week. So

Young Mom Years

Where were you in your younger mom years?

We moved to California when I was pregnant with my first and so we have raised our family here for the last 20 years. Okay. And have you been to his home in the same house home almost. I’ve only moved once. Wow. I’m not one of those. That’s got a great story. They moved 20 times in 20 years.

No, it doesn’t have to be a great story. I’m surprised that we’ve been in the same town for as long as we happen. Yeah. I feel itchy to adventure, but I did grow. I did move a few times growing up. So I think it’s like, that’s kind of what I was used to doing. It felt manageable and yeah. So California is your home, it’s where you’ve raised your kids and you’ve had all your kids there too. Did you always think that you would, like you came from five kids, did you always think you would have five kids? It was that like the number and that’s the number you see there was a goal and you, you had asked,

even as a little girl I wrote like, you know what, I wanted out of life in fourth grade for an assignment and I wrote down at one at five kits and I want her to set a twins and I, I feel really blessed. I got five kids in a set of twins. So

I didn’t know you had a set of twins. I didn’t realize that. Yes. Okay. And you know what? I always wanted twins and five kids and I did not get either one. So I’m happy for you. You needed an extra set? Actually I wanted seven kids and then I was five and then was born. That’s all my husband is doing. But that’s a story for another day. But what were you saying? I did not realize it was twins. You’re younger? No, my number three and four. Okay. I need to look at your family fixture again. Yeah. So that’s so fun.

I, my mom had, my mom had five. Both of my grandmas had five. I just always thought five sounded like a great number. I think at the beginning my husband thought that that’s a lot. And he just came from a family of three boys, so it was like, oh wow. It’s been great. So when they have a surprise then twins? Yes. Yeah. Do you always knew in your heart that you wanted to see you expected it? Yeah. Yeah. But it was a total surprise. I was in the doctor by myself an appointment and they said, oh my goodness, there’s an extra one here. And Tyler wasn’t even with me. So yeah, but it was fun. Okay. So was it as hard as everybody says it is at 404 so I had a one year old and a three year old and then two babies. But I think those first two years you just take a lot of pictures because it’s just a blur and then you’ll remember, you know, some of it and now it’s an and after that. It’s just been so fun. In fact, when I had my fifth I thought, oh my goodness gracious, what will I do? Because they, the girls just entertain themselves, you know, are just such good friends. So it was easy at, at when they got to about two. So then how old were your twins when you had your fifth? They were three, three and a few months. We took a little bit bracing to give mine.

Yes. No. And short story is my husband felt overwhelmed at three and I begged to be content at that point. Yeah. We’re all different. But you get it. He came from seven kids, so I thought seven. That’s amazing. That’s my favorite number. My right. Seven, seven. Let’s have seven kids. He was on board and then, Oh, it’s actually challenging. Anyway. Um, he, he is a really great dad and I feel like I probably expected too much of him and he got more overwhelmed than maybe most, oh yes. One of those things we’ll never really know for sure, but so twins, that’s so fun. I’m just trying to wrap my brain around. And it’s two girls. Yes. Girls tour. Oh boy. Oh boy. Yeah. Okay. What are pretty, and you have red heads. That’s another thing that I wanted in my children. That’s why I just admire you so much is all of these things I didn’t realize.

Raising Teenagers

I love, I love that you have a few redheads. My Dad is a red headed twin and so they must be some strong genes that I got both sides of the family. Does your husband no, no. Yes. His grandpa and his hair was dark like mine and I just never done grandparents that I thought I’ve got a strong chance. It was not to be. So I’m crossing my fingers for grandchildren. Yeah. That’s kind of my little secret. Hope. Totally. Okay. So you seem like how, how, how, how were you with the mom of young kids? Did you feel like this is fun, I got this. What were some, what was a challenging thing that you might remember from younger? I loved having young kids and babies and I remember, um, you know, at the time being home a lot. Right. And you’re just so anxious to go to target by yourself, right?

Yeah. And now, boy have times changed. My kids are like, I’ve got to go get you know, shoes. And you’re like, no, really do was running around in that car, you know? Yeah. But no, I, I really did enjoy having young kids. I think times were a little more simple. I’m grateful at the time that we didn’t have digital distractions of cell phones because I, you know, had, I just had lots of great memories with my babies at home, so I’m, I’m grateful for that. I think the hardest part for me, like when I really look back close, when if I ever got sick, like if the mom goes down and you have a bunch of little kids, oh man, it is hard. You know, you got to care for them and care for you. And my sister’s in that boat right now and I think, oh, those are hard hard dates with the little ones.

Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s really hard for me to kind of put myself back in that place. Like I kind of have like vague memories, but I feel like I’m so far removed from it that it’s tricky, you see. But I do feel like a good amount on Instagram of like, you know, moms with young kids. Um, it’s a hot topic of conversation of yeah. Of the challenge of it all. And I think, um, I don’t know. I don’t know if it perpetuates itself by hearing about it or just the, I don’t know. I don’t remember having as hard of a time, but I think I had lower expectations. Like I don’t care if my house is messy and I know, I don’t know if you’re the same, but I feel like, I think that’s what I hear from a lot of people. It’s like my house is such a mess and maybe it stresses them out. And so then therefore like children’s Christ stress them out and I was just like, Eh, yeah, bug me. Yeah, that’s stuffed in with twin. Someone was already always crying and we just called it surround sound. So we got, we got used to it. You know, I think that

whatever you’re facing right then is, can be overwhelming, you know? And as you and I know raising teenagers, it just changes so much. At least my experience has been that instead of being as physically demanding, it becomes more, in my experience, more emotionally demanding. Yeah. Um, and, and the, and the problems are bigger and they’re longer lasting and they’re, you know, they’re real. It’s not potty training. You know, it may be things with friends or mental health or, you know, whatever they are. It’s hard. Don’t sit around and talk about it at the park. Like, you know, cures if sitting around and chatting about potty training, you know, I can’t necessarily share all of my team’s challenges.

A mom mastermind group

And that is what I’ve identified for myself to the most challenging thing is, is yeah, I’m not, I’m not chatting. And sometimes I think, oh, it’d be nice to have like a mom’s club where we talk about these things, but it’s like your, your teen is like appear and it becomes all of a sudden not okay to talk about their challenges unless it’s with like a trusted individual, you know, one person, but not really in a group setting. And I’ve even found with just these podcast interviews, um, there’s definitely things that I’ve been talking to people about that affects my children. That’s been heavy on my heart that I’m trying to seek answers to, but I don’t feel like I can reveal that in a public type setting. I mean, my, my kids’ friends are listening to the podcast right now and so it’s like I have to be very careful and, but I still want to seek answers and I still want to understand things that, um, that people are struggling with it.

I shared this on my Instagram last week. I have a few friends that are in different stages of life and two of them don’t live near me and we have a little mastermind group and it has been a great way. There are two of them are a little bit older than I am as well. And so it’s just been a great way really to share a little bit more than maybe I normally would. Um, because they aren’t interacting with my kids on a daily basis or seeing them at school or church or, you know, so that has been a good way to be able to share some things and get advice. And Are you doing a black conference call? Yeah, we just do a, yeah. You know how on iPhones now you can call called in and so yeah, we just do a conference call every other month and we talk about three different things, what we are working on, what we’re inspired by and what we need some prodding on. And it really becomes a great way for us to share things that in a, in a really safe place, you know, where we can encourage and support each other. They all know each other initially first or did you introduce no, they knew each other. We’ve all, but um, but one of them has moved to Texas and so it’s just really, I mean, I think you have to be really picky about who you’d want to share it. This, you know,

Yeah. For me, and I’ve actually done this, we’ve had conversations with friends like, okay, would you feel about so and so? And they’re like, eh, like I resonate with this person, but they don’t resonate with that person. Yeah, it is a little tricky. And I have found, I use macro polo quite a bit and I’ve connected with friends that live out of state more one on one. This is an, and it’s like you said, someone that’s very removed, do they, they don’t really know my children that were removed from the situation. And we can speak really openly and frankly about this is what’s going on and this is hard. And have you experienced this with your child? And Yeah, more of a, um, it’s basically a video chat that you can kind of be a little bit more open with and that’s as well. But I like the idea that it’s structured and that you kind of have, uh, um, uh, the three things that you mentioned in there. Um, I think that’s a really good idea. So maybe I’ll have to get that started. It’s good. So, um, tell me, I know you’ve done a lot with helping your kids get involved in the community.

Family Service Projects

What have you done that can help us with, um, like family service projects or just ways that you’ve brought your family closer together as your kids have been growing up?

Okay. Um, well I think that, okay, so at the beginning of the month I have an excel spreadsheet that I love it, that has things that I want to have happen every month. And one of those things for the last couple of years has been a family service project. And some months they’re really small and some months they’ve been bigger than others. And so then what I did when I started doing this in 2015, I started keeping a service journal for our family. And so we would do something and I would take a picture and then I’d ask one of my kids to write down a paragraph. Right. What did we do and why did you like about it? And, um, it has been really fun to do and also to look back and to celebrate the things that we have done. Um, I think that the way we’ve, we get started and look for these things is getting everyone engaged and sitting down as a family and talking about what are some needs that we see in our community or the people that we’re interacting with.

Um, and then looking at our time and our talents and our means and trying to figure out, okay, how does this, how can we fit this in? Right? How can we make this work for us? And what towns do we have that we can share? I’m always, always, always telling my kids where much is given, much is required and we have so much to be grateful for. So let’s look for opportunities to give. And we have just really, um, I feel like been found ways to do some smaller and sometimes bigger things than others, but it really has been this sense of accomplishment afterwards and that good feeling that you have when you do something like this, then you have that together, right? Yeah. And we’ve had fun and we’ve helped others and connected with the community. And so that’s been really great. So, um, I’m going to need a list of a few of the smaller, I’m going to share some ideas.

I want to, okay. So, um, I’ll just share a few random ideas.

So one of the things that we’ve done is filled birthday bags for the food bank. So families will come into the food bank to get food. And so we filled birthday bags that had a cake mix and frosting and some balloons and some candles in it. And so it was just like a little lunch bag size bag. Okay. And so we filled those and we wrote a happy birthday note on him and took him to the food bank. One month. One month I called the fire department and said, my fire hydrants in my neighborhood are so sad looking. They used to be yellow and now they’re largely brown. And so could I paint those? And they said yes, we would love it. And they told me, you go by safety yellow and um, you put down the, you put down like a garbage bag around it or some cardboard and we spray painted fire hydrants.

We’ve done that a couple times. And really super easy, right and inexpensive. Um, we do Kiva loans. Have you heard of Kiva? K? I. V a Kiva loans are amazing. So it’s just kiva.com and it’s micro funding for global small businesses. And my kids each have Kiva loans that they are funding and I don’t even have one. They actually have them in Tyler and I kind of look at him and help him manage them. But it’s pretty awesome once they are old enough to get an email address, which for us has been around 12 or 13 then they sign up to help. So for you contribute $25 and you can, and then they, and then you get paid back and then you invest that $25 in somebody else. So for example, one of my kids is helping a lady who lives in, I think Ghana who has a little business selling snacks, but she eventually wants to open a little store, right?

And so for $25 she’s probably, her loan may only be $50 right, of American money. But um, then she can start these little small businesses. So it’s so cool. So yesterday in fact, one of my kids at all, I got an email, my Kiva loans been repaid and so then she got onto kiva.com and found a new way to help somebody else microfund our little business. Interesting. Okay. Yeah, I like really great way for them to get involved in think way bigger and way outside of themselves and they have done, um, I mean all kinds of countries all over the world. So that’s kind of a fun one. Wow. Yeah, we have deep cleans. The kitchen at our church that really just on Saturday kind of gets wiped down. That was a good, that was one that we did one month. Um, we have done rise against hunger that is all over the country.

You can just get on their website and find, they have a Saturday where you can show up and help package food. Um, I loved that one. We do that every year. We help in the spring with a special needs baseball team. Um, I find that these ideas really, I mean, these are some specific examples, but the more you start looking around and talking to people and looking at different organizations, the bigger your circle gets, right? Right. And then you can find things that, that work for your family and with the time and the talents that you have. But I really do try to get my kids to give more time than money, right. That, that is their sacrifice at this point in their life. And, um, that’s how they can share their joy and talent.

I love that. And I love, I love what service does to kids, and I have kind of my own thoughts, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on like, why you see this as important for your time

Um, well really we live in an affluent area and I really want them to see more outside of this little bubble, right? Yeah. And they can see what other people don’t have and look outside of themselves. And when you, you know, it’s like when you get to know someone that, and they share with you something about them, you can’t help but love them. Right? And so when, you know, we go on Wednesdays for practice and Saturdays for games and we help these kids that literally the best thing ever for them is hitting a baseball, the best thing ever. Right? So then it just helps my kids appreciate so much more of the joy in their own life and their own helps and blessings that they enjoy. I find that, um, it helps my kids and all of us, including me, reduce stress right when I go and serve.

I don’t think about one other thing going on in my own life. I am literally just so present and not concerned about any of my own struggles. Um, it’s helped us to, you know, like I mentioned earlier, just to have those memories together, right? When, when I really think about looking what I want my kids to look back on, I want them to remember, Hey, every month we did something and sometimes it’s super small. Sometimes we’re just going to go and visit, um, an older person from church, right? And we’re maybe going to take a cookies, played a cookies, and maybe not. Maybe we’re just going to go over and say hi can, that’s all we can do that math. But I want my kids to remember thinking about somebody else besides ourselves.

Teaching Teens to Look outside of themselves

Right. And I think generally speaking, at least for teenagers and really anybody, but there’s so much self absorption just by the nature of the time in life, right? It’s stressful, you’re growing, you’re changing all this stuff. And I think the more that we can help them think outside of themselves, the less that they’re so worried about what’s going on in their own head or their own world and, right. Yeah. Like you said, just realize the world is much bigger than just what’s going on in your own little personal bubble neighborhood level or so on and so forth. So,

and a lot of times it makes, it causes all of us to get outside of our comfort zone. Right. We don’t know maybe who were serving or where we’re going or, but you know, when you are able to sit down and interact and connect with someone that you’re trying to serve and you start to love them, you know, um, this and, and, and make friends with people that maybe normally aren’t in your circle, which is just always beneficial. Right?

Yeah. I love that. Um, and I love, I think that’s a great idea for people to just kind of start thinking about what they can do. And sometimes I like I started to hear these ideas and I’m like, my son’s leaving soon, I’ve missed the phone. I’m like, I’ve got a couple of months. We can grab our lens and things here and there. And we’ve even tried to like, I think you had seen that we’d gone to like a retirement home and tried to interact with some people and it was kind of uncomfortable for all of that. But then I think, okay, we got our foot in the door and now like the next step is I wanted to find someone specific that we could try and regularly visit. And you know, I’m trying to figure out the next step because it’s going to kind of uncomfortable for me as well.

And, and I can’t tell if the people there like they like it if they don’t, you know, these people walking by. So I wanted to make it a like a little bit more of a, of an intimate, somebody specific. And I think I’ve just gotten hung up because they’re like, you have to fill out these forms and you have to get a background check. And I’m like, oh, okay. You just made it complicated for me. I like, I like you just walk in and say hello and now I have to jump through hoops and schedule. Yeah. And same thing over spring break, we were going to go to the food bank and they’re like, well you have to have, and it should an initiation. And that was yesterday. Dang it.

And it’s not again for another month. Yes. Yes. And you know, I find it challenging to find places that little kids are allowed to serve at. Oh yeah. I mean that, that can be really hard but not impossible. You know, sometimes it’s just doing things in your own home that you can share with others. And also you and I can’t, I mean we’re, we’re, as we’re growing with our families, right, we can’t look back and say, oh, I can always do hindsight’s 20, 20. Right. Can look forward and include service as we raise our adult children and our grandchildren. And there will be lots of other tendencies for that. Yeah. I mean, we haven’t done anything else this big and it wasn’t even this big, we only, we drove into Mexico last year and I couldn’t have done this with little kids. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable, but we drove into through Tiawana and, um, just an hour over the border and had a really great experience for two days at an orphanage.

And those were opportunities that I wouldn’t have had when I had little kits and that, no, we’ll do again as we have older kids and married kids and it’ll just be part of our family culture. Yes, I do like that. And I do like the idea of, and I, I have to remind myself what I’ve tried to do on a regular basis for years is to have people over for dinner and it is a different kind of service. And my kids are like, when are we going to invite our friends over? And I’m like, we’re inviting new people over the don’t have any friends who can help them feel, you know, and, and it’s often level with little kids and my kids have formed relationships with the younger kids and they’ve been babysat them, you know, so things like that that I think, oh well maybe we didn’t do some things but okay.

I guess we did do you know, different things. You did lots of great stretch, stretch them outside of their comfort zone and tried to include my kids, like to talk to other adults and I know that there’s not any kids your age, but you can talk to the adults or you can play with the kids. You’d have it right. Good for on. Yes, it is to push them a little outside of their comfort zone. I love having people in our home. And one thing that I’ve done that your thought made me think of is we have an annual teachers luncheon and we invite our teachers over for lunch. Oh, I love that. The end of the school year, and it has been just a little way and my kids have written, you know, a note and we put it in a little plant on their plate usually.

And it’s just a little way that we’ve been able to serve our teachers and show them some love. So even through high school, have you, you’ve invited multiple times and just whoever can come can come. They will ever come. Yup. Wow. It’s tricky with everyone’s schedules, but we just invite who we can, you know, we invited whoever can come, come Saturday lunch or a Saturday. Saturday. Yeah. Saturday lunch. I love that. Okay. Give us some more ideas. You’ve got some, you got some great ideas. What about, what have you done for, um, like I just, are you a person who gets into birthdays and themes? Are you someone who doesn’t as much do birthdays? When I was a kid, birthdays were a big deal. My mom could make these amazing, beautiful cakes that she would decorate and I wish I had those talents, but I don’t.

But we take our kids to lunch on their birthday. Is this what you were thinking like yeah, tradition. We, um, we take our kids to lunch on their birthday and we do not do a big fat friend party every year, every other year, sometimes every three years. And as my kids have gotten older, we have really, it’s just been fun to say, Hey, what’s something maybe bigger that you’d like to do with two or three friends? Let’s go to dinner and to a movie with just a couple of friends. And that’s more their preference I think as they get older anyway, it’s not the big group. And then I’ve got my 16 year old’s like, no, I want to have all my friends over. And every kid’s a little bit different. But some of my kids, if they’ve gotten older, that’s what they’ve enjoyed. And that’s been so you do like you, you and your husband and then the birthday child.

Okay. Yeah, yeah. It’s a little one on one time. And you, I know you’ve recently done, um, trips individually with your kids. Have you done that? Was this kind of the first time you, that you had done, you’ve done that? We have started doing that the last couple of years. So as you know, when you’re part of a big family, it’s hard. It’s hard as press harder for parents to get one on one time with our kids. And my husband travels some for his job. And so when I can join him on a business trip and take one of our kids with us, it has just been, I mean, one of my favorite things, one of my very favorite things. In fact, I have loved the one on one time, especially during these teen years when sometimes our conversations get broken up a lot. Right? You know, you’re in the car and you’re dropping one off and another one’s getting in or it’s late on my bed, you know, at night.

So, um, to have that an interrupted time has been just irreplaceable and so really fun. What have you found with your kids? Like, I’m guessing you have some that are more chatty than others. Like do you have any that are hard conversation list and what are some tips for that? Tell me about that. I don’t know if I have any tips. I am really working on, I have, my oldest is just, we could chat and laugh till three in the morning every night. And then I have a couple others that are not so much that way. And I think it’s because they don’t think I’m cool yet. But that’s my hope. Right. I think when you’re a senior I hope is when you decide your mom’s cool. That’s about when it happened for me. So yeah. You think maybe so. But I don’t know. But um, I do really try to find, I mean you just did that amazing podcast on 10 minutes, right?

Oh yes. That was some great stuff. Yes. So great to just be able to find the one on one time. And I will tell you it’s a little bit trickier when you have twins and they share a room. So yeah, finding time. You know, cause a lot of times I find my teenagers open up at night and that’s when they want to chat when I’m tired, but when they want to chat nevertheless. Um, and then finding the alone time to ask specific questions. That really has been, I think what has worked the best is just asking really specific questions. And sometimes I start off by asking them about their friends and then it will turn into something about them. So they may not be as comfortable starting off with me, but I’ll say, hey, what’s going on with so and so? You know, and then it’ll turn into something that then we can talk about what’s going on with them.

Kids Sharing a Room

So it’s interesting you mentioned the twins sharing a room because all of my kids share a room, like nobody has their own rooms. And so I do find the evening times difficult because of that, to have that time and I’d have to look for in other places. But um, yeah, it, it’s tricky because of that. So do you find that you are, do you hop from room to room at night or do you try and do like one night this kid and the next night I don’t have one of those calendars, you know, one night each kit. That would be fantastic. I do keep a little, I have an excel spreadsheet for that. I do for that. I have a little spot, my planner where I kind of do some check marks and I kind of keep track of, Hey, who do I need to, you know, dial in with this week, maybe more than another. And then I have a couch in my bedroom so I’ll say, hey, come in and we’ll, you know, snuggle by my heater. And that’s been the way that has worked best for us.

Have you found that the less conversationalists when you say, Hey, come in here and they’re like, ah, like are they reluctant or are they like good with it?

Getting better? Yeah. Okay. Like taking some practice and I always try and make it not just about maybe something that I, not that they’re in trouble for it, but something I don’t always want it to be something negative. Right. Yeah. I’ve been thinking, yes. Yeah, for sure. So even though I may have a few things that I want to talk with him about, you know, definitely first priority is connecting. Yeah. But you know, we’re all complex individuals trying to figure it out together. I loved in that podcast interview, um, a couple of weeks ago with Alisa was thinking about my child. That is the most challenging for me to communicate with. Well, just because they’re not a very communicative person. Yeah. I have had to think, oh, I,

I love that she said that it, it doesn’t have to be verbal. Like it doesn’t have to be talking. Connecting can be scratching on the beach or playing with hair. And those are the things that I’m like, okay, we’re connecting. We’re just not talking. And I had always seen connecting as talking. Yeah. And that’s how I feel like I best connect. And so I’ve had frustrating moments when I feel like I’m trying to connect and they’re not talking with me and it’s less and it’s not the third not wanting to so much as they’re just like, I don’t have anything to say. And I’m like, right, but anyway, how has that, so I felt a little better thinking, oh we do connect and they, they don’t, they seem to enjoy my company. So it’s not a me thing. It’s more of a, just nothing to say. Right.

Connecting Individually with Kids

One thing that’s helped me with that is the love languages book for teenagers. Yes. Meeting to look at that. It’s a really great one because especially for, you know, this stage of life that we’re in with teenagers. So I do, I mean they have the kids run and I loved that when my kids were little. But if you make your kids take the test, it’s super fast and easy and they’re usually pretty willing, cause it’s like two minutes. Um, but you know, one of my kids that wasn’t talking to a lot and I was thinking, okay, how can I do this? And then I thought how rubber back, I’ll, you know, and she does not like that either. So finding out, okay, this is what it is. You are, she’s all about quality time. So it’s still is the same languages from kid to teen to adult.

It’s just interpreted differently. Yeah. Same languages. So this particular kid that I went on a trip was last year was exactly filling her bucket right. The way that she felt that was through quality time. And so that’s, that was just a really great thing to figure out. And, and I, and it changes those love languages change, but it’s good with teenagers to be, you know, checking them often, I think as worked for us and, and then trying to make adjustments as a mom, like, okay, how am I going to, you know, connect with you and share my love for you and all of those things. Okay. So you’d mentioned that book and the merely boy Yak book. Is there another parenting book that you, um, I love, love and logic from when my kids were little. And I find it still applies with teenager, right? There’s, you know, do not become emotionally, emotionally charged.

Everything is okay. Yeah, that’s a bummer. Um, I love that book. And then another book I really liked that’s about relationships as hold me tight by doctor Sue Johnson. It’s emotionally focused communication. That is a really fantastic for marriages and for all relationships with communicating. So yeah, one of my favorites. Excellence. Okay.

Favorite Scripture

And then what about, is there a quote or a scripture that you find yourself saying often? Um, I, my favorite scripture. So I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints. And my kids will tell you as well, cause I do remind them of it, a doctrine and covenants section one 23 verse 17 says, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power. And then may we stand still with yet most assurance to see the salvation of God and for his arm to be revealed. So I’m a believer in really? Yeah, working hard and then asking for heavenly father’s help after we’ve done all that we can.

I love that. I’m actually teaching that section in my seminary teaching class. So, yes, I’m excited that you said that. And it helps me think about it in a different light as well. Um, what about, do you guys have, have you ever done a family motto or anything? Yes. Also, I got that from Merrilee Boyack’s book years ago. So we have five family models.

Family Motto

The Prices family motto, our kids yell as they get out of school, out of the car in the mornings they, we tell each other and share.

  • Prices are happy and helpful.
  • Prices do hard things.
  • Price and our solvers, not complainer’s.
  • Prices strive to be together on earth and in heaven
  • Prices follow the Prophet and are disciples of Jesus Christ.

Awesome.

So is that something that you’ve added on year after year or you know, we did it. We made it all up at once. Um, probably 10 years ago, 15 years ago. Yeah. And really it seemed to have covered all of our priorities. Yeah. So they do say that whole thing as they’re getting out. So let’s say we have a couple kids in the car. Everybody says when you know, oh, so it’s like one person. So that’s one part. The other person. Oh, okay. Gotcha. So somebody will say, hey, we’re happy and helpful.

Somebody else will say we’re solvers, not complainer’s, you know, like that. I like it. Yes.

I don’t know how many years ago was that we did ours, but we put it to music {Duke Family Song} and Oh, fun. I like to sing it and it’s silly. I was trying to be all serious. Like we’re going to come up with this really thoughtful, serious, what we all stand for. And they wanted to add some silly in it and I was like, Kristen, yeah, we can make this totally okay. And yeah, they like that. It makes, it makes them them, you know. Yes. That gives them a sense of identity, which is so important.

Teens and Technology

How, what have you done with um, teens and phones or when did they, so my kids have a flip phone in junior high. Okay. They’re convinced that they’re the only one that could have a flip phone as they, and the near the, as they get near the end of junior high, we moved to a smart phone that we have a lot of control of. I use the APP are packed. Okay. And that is how we’ve eased into it and you know, tried to teach discipline, which is tricky, but we have a contract, we don’t do phones in rooms and the computers in the main area. And I really find that I’m just trying to be focused on teaching and exemplifying that social media is there for us to connect with others and to share goodness and anything else you know, is, is not worth your time or energy. So yeah, I’m all about giving the double tap, you know. Hey did you, yeah, you saw that it was really fun. Did you make a comment, you know, let your friend know that you’re like or shirt or you thought it was fine that she did that or you know, less scrolling. Yes. Some are a little more engaging and yeah, part being social on social media. Not just scrolling through well, so I actually, yeah,

I started this teen podcast a about a month or so ago and I interviewed all so awesome. Oh yeah. So exciting. I interviewed a girl, uh, who was asking me like, she wanted to figure out like how to be more social and be better conversationalist and social settings. Like she said, she felt awkward and I mean we can, you know, we’ve all been there before, whether we’re adults or younger, you know, it does feel awkward sometimes when you don’t know people. And I think, I think so many kids are like, if they’re in an awkward setting, they’ll just like, I’m awkward, I don’t want to look awkward. So I’m just going to look at my phone. And I think it’s kind of a safety zone and I think anybody, any of us can do that. But I think it’s one of those things that like we have to put ourselves in these uncomfortable situations or we have to force ourselves

to, you know, not go to the safe place of just staring into our phones because we’re awkward or uncomfortable. But you know, looking up and look for somebody to talk to and you’re, you’ll learn that skill as you’re, you know, forcing herself to not always easy. So yeah, there’s definitely, there’s, yeah, like you said, there’s money, wonderful things about having smart phones and also challenges that come along with it. My favorite book about that, and we do a little part of family night every week from like a, um, just on life skills and one of the books we use a lot is how to win friends and influence people. It’s the book that I gift, I’ll seniors. It’s got some great ideas for, you know, um, for example, anyone’s favorite word is their own name. And so the importance of using people’s name in a conversation, right?

Like some things that you could give, you know, teenagers that are wanting to be more social, but it is a little uncomfortable and they’re friends aren’t great at it either cause they all have phones too. So again, it’s a great gift.

I am From Poem

I just wanted to share something that my daughter did for a school assignment this year. That was really I thought an eye opening. Good assignment. The teacher asks them to write a poem about their family and where they are from and the only specification that she gave them is it had to be entitled and start with the words I am from and so this is what my daughter said:

  • I am from solving and not complaining
  • chocolate chip cookies and homemade ice cream.
  • I am from sleeping in on the weekend laughing at mom’s childhood stories and road trips.
  • I am from going to Lake Tahoe every October and movie nights.
  • I am from crepes on Saturday morning.
  • I am from swimming and cheering each other on.
  • Going to church on Sunday and high expectations is where I’m from.
  • I am from family vacations, going to visit family during the summer and going to the lake as often as possible.
  • I am from memories like visiting National Parks, lots of hiking and cliff jumping, yard work and riding bikes is where I am from.
  • I am from making s’mores in the backyard.
  • I am from my family.

So, yeah, I feel like I could go off on a tangent and ask so many questions about different things that she mentioned there. Yeah, well I thought it was really fun that she took the time to write that, but also what afterwards my husband and I sat down and thought, okay, we love so many parts of this and what, you know, looking forward, do we want her and the rest of our kids to leave our home with, you know, what sort of things do we want them to feel like they are from that make them feel rooted and important and all of those things to being part of our family. So yeah, I love that. So did you have you yet or are you thinking about having the other kids? Right. Those, some I haven’t. I haven’t yet. I’m going to have them write their own. And then I wrote my own, which was really fun. And being back about those childhood memories that I have and what made me, you know, feel like I was part of my family and the things that I really enjoy and appreciate about my parents and my family of origin and I’m encouraging my siblings to do the same thing. So

I love that and I think that’s a great activity that anybody can do in their family. And it sometimes it gets kids, you know, I think having an example is really helpful. I was just thinking, oh, I want to have my kids do this and I might actually use your daughter’s poem as an example. Like this is something that somebody else wrote. What is it that you feel like you can connect with or you feel like you’ve grown up with or has helped our family be connected? And I think those are the things like the things that they mentioned and you know, there’s simple things like you said, like conversations or storytelling or right, making chocolate chip cookies. Those are the things doesn’t, it requires, I think sometimes people get overwhelmed with this mom task of like, oh, we have all these things to do and it, it does take up. It does take effort to be able to be intentional and to, you know, include some of those things in, into our family culture and yeah. But I think you also mentioned that they don’t, most of those things are, you know, there wasn’t Disneyland in there. Yeah. You know, most of them

costs money, right? Right. It’s going, it’s going on a family hike and it’s doing, you know, swimming and making crepes and yeah, I agree with you. It’s, it really is those simple moments that are the most beautiful that our kids are going to remember and culture.

And I think it’s a great family activity also because my husband gave me this quote that I really love cars. I’ve always loved writing my thoughts and journaling. And this quote says something along the lines of, you know, our thoughts. We start to remember or realize more as we’re right. Like we discover ourselves more as we are writing, right? I think our kids, like maybe some identify more or like think up more things, but if we, if you do it something like that, maybe even as a family activity, then they’ll kind of bounce ideas off of each other. And I think having something like that for your child, I as I think of my son leaving like, oh, I want him to write these things down before he forgets. Right. And put it in a journal, look back on it. And kind of having it written down is something that can remind them through the years of, Oh yeah, we did some great things.

And yeah, there were some mess ups in between there and there were some moments that as parents might not be proud of, but, um, what a, what a treasure and what a gift that you have and having that and I think that we can ask our kids to give for themselves. So thank you for sharing that. Yeah. Well, as we close, I, I’ve loved everything that you shared. Your really opened my mind to a few things that I’ve been wanting to do. So I’m grateful for that. But I always like to ask at the end like what is something that as you look to the future, you think you see your daughter’s about to graduate high school and like what are fine, we didn’t even talk about that. What are your thoughts of like continuing to mother, um, from a distance and just your hope for your kids in general as you’re raising them? I think that my friends that are a little bit

Next Stage of Life

In that next stage above where I’m at, it looks actually a little bit tricky now. I, when I had little kids, I thought teenagers, were just so scary. I was like, oh my goodness, I’m not looking forward to that. That looks a little nerve wracking, but it has been such an amazing experience. It has been so fun, so fun. I’ve just had so much fun with my teenagers and teenage boys are hilarious and I had good relationships with my girls and so I, I hope that the same is true in the next stage of life. I do think it’s going to be a little bit trickier because right now I literally can give my opinion about everything. And I think as we get adult children and they get married and you know, I’m going to have to be a little bit more picky about what I share and how I share it.

I do look forward to that. I look forward to having lots of memories and that’s the only thing that really has made it a little bit easier. Having my oldest get ready to go is seeing her happy and excited and doing the things that we always hoped she would do. Right. Which is leave home and go to school. And that’s what we’ve always talked about in this, what we’ve raised her to do. And I think it’s going to be hard. I think there’s going to be days I’m going to be really sad because it’s been such a joy to have all my kids together for so many years with all these memories.